Board Meeting Highlights - October 25, 2022

Good News

National Truth and Reconciliation Week (NTRW) and Orange Shirt Day

Schools and offices across the board acknowledged NTRW and the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation by wearing orange shirts, bracelets, etc. on Friday September 30. Staff and students participated in a variety of activities to reflect on the legacy of residential schools and honour residential school survivors, their families and communities. 

A Return to Professional Learning for Administrators 

Chair Nancy Rothwell was pleased to share that she, along with a few other Trustees, attended a conference for Principals and Vice Principals in London on October 6 and 7. The conference was called "The Connected Leader" and showcased keynote speaker Dr. Jody Carrington and motivational speaker Saidat. She was pleased to see administrators together for two days of learning and although Dr. Carrington joined the conference remotely, her energy was felt in the room!

SDSS Eco Club Helps Voters Get to Know Municipal Election Candidates

Trustee Laura Bisutti was happy to share that the Stratford District SS Eco Club put together a website with information about all Stratford municipal election candidates (mayor, councillor, school board trustee). It included a set list of questions and a restriction of no more than 100 words per response. The website was highlighted in a newspaper article and was shared widely to help voters learn more about the candidates. 

Shout Out to Parents/Guardians

Trustee Laura Bisutti wished to acknowledge all of the parents/guardians who attend meetings to provide input on activities in schools and across the board. She applauded school council, Parent Involvement Committee (PIC) and other committee members. 

Students and Staff Brave Poor Weather for Regional Cross Country

Vice Chair Robert Hunking expressed his admiration for the staff and students around the board who participated in the Regional Cross Country meet on October 20. The weather was less than desirable, and staff, students, and those cheering them on showed resilience and grit as they forged ahead. Many of them qualified for the next round of competition. Congratulations!  

Staff Presentation

Director Lisa Walsh and the senior team presented the 2022-2023 Director's Work Plan. The team explained that the plan is organized to align with the 2020-2024 Strategic Plan and the Equity, Diversity and Inclusivity Action Plan. The full plan can be viewed on the Director's Work Plan page.  

Student Trustee Update

Student Trustee Alex Dolmage provided an update. One item was brought on behalf of Student Trustee Abigail Peel. He shared that Abigail attended the Student Trustee organization (OSTA-AECO) Fall General Meeting from October 20 to 23. The event included a keynote speech from the Minister of Education (Stephen Lecce), as well as a number of guest speakers, including Cathy Abraham from OPSBA (Ontario Public School Board Association) and Joanne Walsh from OPHEA (Ontario Physical and Health Education Association). Alex shared that the Student Senate has planned three working groups: 1) Health and well-being (focusing on body image issues), 2) Environment and sustainability (focusing on e-waste), and 3) Equity and diversity (focusing on Indigenous education). In addition, the Senate is in the process of a number of communications improvements with the schools represented by senate members, both through social media posts and the creation of introduction videos from senators to their prospective schools and feeder schools. 

Chair Update

Chair Nancy Rothwell shared that she attended the October 19 Parent Involvement Committee (PIC) meeting. Heather Hirdes (Mental Health and Well-being Lead) shared a presentation about the Mental Health Engagement Strategy which includes student and parent/guardian representatives at the school level. They also received a brief update on de-streaming, tutoring supports, and the municipal election and the importance of voting. Key takeaways were developed for sharing back at school council meetings. 

Senior Staff Updates

Mental Health Liaison

Superintendent Laura Marotta reported one of the approaches from the Mental Health Engagement Strategy is the recruitment of a Mental Health Liaison is a staff member in each school. These individuals participated in a virtual learning opportunity earlier in October and will be responsible for bolstering awareness about mental health and well-being initiatives. They will also connect with parent/guardian and student representatives to increase the awareness and help plan in-school activities.  

AMDSB Invites Municipal Partners to Follow-Up Meeting

Superintendent Cheri Carter shared that in response to feedback received at the annual municipal partners' meeting in June, an invitation was extended to the group to meet with Watson & Associates to discuss local demographics. 

Future Board Meetings

Meetings that include Regular Sessions will be hosted in person at the Education Centre in Seaforth (62 Chalk St. N.) with the option for connecting online. Members of the public are welcome to attend the Regular Board Meeting sessions (in person or online). Meeting details (including online meeting links and agenda packages) are posted on the Board Meeting page.
  • Tuesday, November 8, 2022: Committee of the Whole, Open Session
  • Tuesday, November 15, 2022: Inaugural Meeting at 4:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, November 29, 2022: Committee of the Whole, Closed Session at 4:30 p.m. and Regular Board Meeting at 6:00 p.m.

Future Meetings/Events with Trustee Representation

  • Special Education Advisory Committee – Wednesday, November 2, 2022 at 4:00 p.m.
  • New Trustee Orientation – Monday, November 7, 2022 at 5:30 p.m.
  • Audit Committee – Wednesday, November 9, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.
  • Equity Steering Committee – Wednesday, November 16, 2022
  • Joint Health & Safety Committee – Thursday, November 24, 2022 at 1:30 p.m.
  • Supervised Alternative Learning – Monday, November 28, 2022 at 8:30 a.m.
  • Indigenous Education Advisory Committee – Monday, November 28, 2022 at 5:30 p.m.
  • Environment Committee – December 1, 2022
  • Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act – Wednesday, December 7, 2022 at 3:00 p.m.